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Spotlight on Marina

04 July 2022
Marina (centre) is also the founder and director of the Endometriosis Foundation of Australia.

Tell us about your role at SMCT.

I am the Executive Assistant to the Chief Finance Officer. I provide high-level support to my prospective ELT and concentrate on the organisation's principal objectives and priorities. I also manage the internal audits at SMCT and keep my team focused and productive!

What is your number one work-related goal this year?

Pushing performance to increasing heights and growing my skills through continued learning.

What is one thing that surprised you about working within the cemeteries industry?

The way we connect with customers using empathy, and the way we emotionally invest in how we assist and benefit the community during their time of need, is extremely rewarding. We offer lovely facilities for gatherings and grief support groups, and our natural and serene settings are the perfect environment for a moment of introspection.

What advice would you share with new or future employees at SMCT?

Make sure that you take the time to learn about the workplace, spend time with fellow co-workers, ask questions, respect everyone, and remember to smile!

Can you describe one memorable interaction you have had with a customer or colleague during your time at SMCT?

I was in Cafe Vita when an older woman approached me and began crying. She said I reminded her of her recently deceased daughter and asked if she could hug me. I said yes and she cried her heart out in my arms. Allowing a stranger to connect and grieve was a very meaningful interaction for me, one that I will never forget.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

My first degree was in Chinese Medicine, and I worked as an acupuncturist for nine years before moving on to become a pharmacist in my next chapter of life. I worked in clinical trials, specialising in Oncology and IVF before progressing to State Pharmaceutical Sales and Business Development Management roles (there was a lot of travelling!). I'm also the founder and director of the Endometriosis Foundation of Australia, where I passionately advocate for increasing awareness about a debilitating disease with no cure, in collaboration with Monash University and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research.

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